Drug Take Back Event Planned for Oct. 28

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (News release) – Arkansas Drug Director Kirk Lane is coordinating a Drug Take Back Day event Saturday, Oct. 28. 

The statewide event will begin at 10 a.m. and end at 2 p.m.

Check for locations at www.artakeback.org

The Arkansas Drug Director Office is part of the Department of Human Services (DHS) Executive Team, as well as the Governor’s Cabinet.

Take Back programs help prevent drug abuse and accidental poisonings. Unused prescription medicine, especially opioid pain killers, can be a temptation to some and pose a risk of accidental poisoning for children and senior citizens.

Since 2010, thirteen Take Back events in Arkansas have gathered and disposed of more than 118 tons of drugs – an estimated 330 million pills.

Drug overdose deaths are the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths in the United States, exceeding vehicle fatalities by 50 percent. More than 143 people in America die each day due to a drug overdose.

According to the latest figures available, 1,067 people died in Arkansas from a drug overdose from 2013-2015 (319 in 2013, 356 in 2014, and 392 in 2015).

Arkansas ranks in the top 20 percent per capita of states for prescription of painkillers.

This year’s Arkansas Take Back event is dedicated to the memory of Nicholas “Cheezy” Alexander Kellar, of Little Rock. The son of Rory and Suzanne Tipton, he was born January 7, 1994, and was only 23-years-old when he died of an accidental fentanyl overdose on April 14, 2017, following a long, hard battle with addiction. Kellar graduated from Maumelle High School and attended Pulaski Tech.

The Drug Director Office is primarily responsible for providing oversight of Arkansas’ 19 Drug Task Forces (DTF), including financial monitoring and tracking of drug-related seizures. The office also develops alcohol and drug program initiatives to address substance abuse challenges across the state.

Under Lane’s leadership, the office expects to see an increase in collaborative efforts between agencies and stakeholders to prevent and treat growing drug abuse issues in Arkansas.

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